What is the power of an online review? Companies, apps and retailers are consistently asking us to take a moment to review their product or services. A recent study by BrightLocal found that 84% of people now trust online reviews – keep in mind these are reviews made by total strangers. Additionally, 74% of people said that they would be more likely to take the next step in the purchase path (making an actual purchase) when they saw a great review online – again, a review by a total stranger.
Many brands are embracing the power of crowdsourcing online reviews to fuel their business growth. One brand that stands as the industry leader in crowdsourcing reviews is Kate Hudson’s brand of athletic wear, Fabletics. Three short years ago Fabletics was a small startup with Kate Hudson at the helm. The company paired up with online fashion magnate TechStyle and three years later has 1.5 million online subscribers, $250 million in sales and has become a true household name. In addition – people just generally love Fabletics.
People flock to online review sites and the company’s website to share their great experiences with Fabletics or to post reviews about a certain article of clothing they may have received in their latest box. Fans frequently share photos of themselves to their social media accounts showing off their latest looks #Fabletics. It feels like a rolling stone, picking up more and more juice as it goes.
One reason for that momentum is that Fabletics customers feel they have a true voice. The company encourages people to submit online reviews and they actually listen to those reviews. Fabletics has a major goal: to be genuinely transparent with its members. The reviews that are posted by Fabletics members are generally highly positive, therefore increasing the percentage that someone else will see them and become a Fabletics member. Positive reviews are also linked to search engine rankings, meaning that each time Fabletics gets that great review or those five stars they rank higher in relevant searches. In this way, Fabletics is using the power of customer service and a great product to outshine the competition.
Kate Hudson started Fabletics with the goal of going digital first and with that, came the responsibility of transparency. Unlike a store, where if a customer is unhappy they can speak to a store manager quietly behind the counter, in the online world reviews are posted in real time and they are posted for all to see. Once more, people are far more likely to complain about something behind the anonymity of a computer screen. Kate Hudson knew this and still wanted to push digital first and make her company something that the members would truly love. Also, when they don’t like something or perhaps an article of athletic wear doesn’t fit, she wanted to encourage open communication and a rapid desire to correct the situation. For that reason, she upgraded their entire customer service team to provide the best level of service available in the industry.
With all of these major “firsts” that Fabletics has achieved, other companies are finding they either need to follow suit, or get out of the way.